Graffiti War Erupts Over Israel’s Road Signs

‘It’s a Public Service,’ Says an Activist With Arabic Stickers.

JERUSALEM — On a recent night in this ethnically divided city, an Israeli and two American Jews patrolled the streets, armed with a ladder, adhesive spray and a pile of handwritten placards. Every few minutes, they hopped out of the car, slapped a sticker onto a road sign and snapped a picture.

Their operation, which has taken place four times since May, is aimed at countering ultra-nationalist vandals who had defaced the Arabic lettering on Jerusalem’s street signs. Over that vandalism, the new vigilantes, with a more pluralist vision of Israel, have put up stickers with large, flowing Arabic calligraphy spelling out the street’s name.

“It’s a public service,” said Romy Achituv, the Israeli behind the wheel, before speeding off to the next sign on the checklist.

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